After over 96 hours of agitation launched by Indore residents in the form of ‘Jal Satyagraha’ to save Pipliyahana reservoir, the state chief minister on Thursday withdrew decision to construct modern court complex in the area.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan called a meeting at her residence on Thursday and informed the agitating Congress legislators and others that the chief minister had agreed to immediately stall the ongoing construction works in the area, and now a new location would be identified in the city for construction of the modern court complex.
City Congress president Pramod Tondon told Hindustan Times: “Tai (Mahajan) has assured us that the CM has agreed to withdraw their decision to construct a court complex by compromising the reservoir area.”
Tondon said, “Now a new location will be identified for the purpose.”
The decision to construct the court complex by compromising the reservoir area attracted severe criticism from various quarters including activists, environmentalists, residents, non-governmental organizations and Congress and BJP legislators alike.
The state government hopes to increase the strength of sitting district and session judges in Indore to at least 200 in next five years. They feel such a modern facility would be needed to accommodate the enhanced capacity, as the old district court complex near Gandhi hall offers very little scope for upgradation.
Meanwhile, the Indore district and High Court bar association members abstained from judicial work on Thursday to protest over the issue. The lawyers also demand that the court complex should not be shifted to Pipliyahana on Eastern Ring Road; instead some location can be identified within the city, they argued.
In March this year, the central bench of NGT comprising judicial member Justice Sonam Phintso Wangdi and expert member Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal ruled that only 3.674 hectare as reservoir area and construction can take place at least 30 meters away from the ‘full tank level’ of the water body, on the condition that the water body should not suffer any kind of damage.
On the contrary, after the orders were passed the building company constructed a 12 feet wide wall running across the water body, separating the entire area in about 3:7 ratio, which triggered the people to stage agitation.